Ottawa – Circular Innovation Council has launched a first-of-its-kind, reuse program to address single-use plastic waste in collaboration with major Canadian grocery retailers Metro, Sobeys and Walmart Canada.
Co-funded by participating grocery retailers with support from Environment and Climate Change Canada, this will be the largest collaborative reuse initiative in the country, the council said in a news release.
Starting with the development of a unique reusable food container pilot planned for launch in Ottawa in mid 2024, this national program aims to demonstrate scalable, convenient, and permanent solutions to reducing single use plastic packaging through innovative, collaborative reuse models.
Consumers will have the opportunity to purchase selected food products in reusable containers at participating grocery retailers and other food service locations within the pilot area, the containers will be provided at no cost. They will be able to return the reusable containers through a variety of convenient return options, including neighbourhood drop-off locations. Technology service partner Reusables.com will provide the smart return bins and will be able to track container movements through washing and distribution.
In this unique model, the ownership of the reusable containers will be shared between the grocery retailers and other food service pilot participants in the pilot area. They will work collaboratively, sharing containers, ensuring proper sanitation and food safety requirements are met, and organizing transportation and logistics. This collective shared pool resource model will be a first in Canada for reusable containers at this scale. What’s learned from the Ottawa pilot will be used to develop and scale a variety of reuse programs across the city of Ottawa and in other regions across Canada.
For more details, visit circularinnovation.ca.